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State bill to extend last call in bars fails

Last call will remain at 2 a.m. for the foreseeable future in California.

The bill that proposed an extension of last call hours in bars in 10 California cities, including three in the Coachella Valley, failed on the State Assembly floor over the weekend.

On Saturday, the State Assembly rejected State Bill 58 with 29 aye votes to 35 nay votes. There was a total of 15 NVR counts. Local assembly members Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) and Chad (R-Yucca Valley) were among the aye votes.

SB would have allowed the city councils of Cathedral City, Coachella, Palm Springs, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Oakland, Sacramento, West Hollywood, San Francisco, and Fresno to decide if they would want to opt-in to a pilot program which would extend last call at bars to 3 a.m.

This is the second iteration of the bill. The first iteration, which proposed a 4 a.m. last call time, was introduced last year and passed through the State Assembly 51-22 and State Senate 28-8. In Sept. 2018, then-Governor Jerry Brown vetoed the legislation.

“I believe we have enough mischief from midnight to two without adding two more hours of mayhem,” Brown said in his veto.

The bill was reintroduced in Dec 2018, adding Coachella and Cathedral City to the list of cities.

Reaction to the bill was mixed from residents of the cities.

“That’s a ridiculous idea. I can’t see why people would want to stay out until 4 in the morning,” one Palm Springs patron said of the original 4 a.m. bill.

Supporters argued it would be good for business, particularly in areas like downtown Palm Springs.

Watch: Residents mixed on bill to extend last call to 4 AM at Palm Springs bars

Local officials showed support for the bill with Mayes co-sponsoring the bill.

“I believe that there are issues that should be left up to the locals. I believe in local governance, local decision-making,” Mayes said of his reason for co-sponsoring the bill. “And when one of my cities in my assembly district thought that it would be important to be able to expand it, it makes a lot of sense to me.”

Cathedral City mayor Mark Carnevale spoke to News Channel 3 earlier this month about the bill.

“Ten years ago this might not have been a good option for us, but given Lyft and Uber and responsible drinking and more awareness it’s more beneficial at this time,” Carnevale said.

In August, the bill was dealt a major blow when the Los Angeles City Council passed a resolution opposing the bill. Councilman Paul Koretz echoed the argument many have made against the bill.

“This is a bill that puts not only consumers of alcohol in danger but all the innocent bystanders that will suffer, if it passes,” Koretz said.

After the LA City Council’s decision, bill author State Senator Scott Wiener announced the bill had been amended to 3 a.m. However, that was still not enough and the bill was rejected.

If SB 58 had passed, it would have been the first extension of nightlife in CA ​​​​​​in over 100 years. According to Brown, the state’s laws regulating late-night drinking have been on the books since 1913.

KESQ

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